Open to anyone working in education wanting to increase their understanding of childhood trauma, promote resilience and incorporate trauma-informed support for all students. Guests will have access to an exciting lineup of presenters, breakout sessions, self-care booths and hands-on fun!


March 6 & 7, 2024


The Knowledge Center at Chaddock

Relate, Restore, Rebuild

Action Steps You Can Take Today!

Early Bird Tickets - Save $50!

Order today and save! Early bird tickets are available for a limited time and include full access to two amazing keynote speakers, 10 breakout sessions, self-care booths and additional workshops!

Award Nominations

To nominate a deserving educator or administrator, simply complete the form. The 2024 Outstanding Educator of the Year and Administrator of the Year will be recognized at the conference! 

Download the full conference guide

Everything you need to know about the 2024 Conference Guide can be found in this convenient booklet. From presenter bios, to workshop objectives, a local dining guide and more....you will be all set to attend! 

were you unable to attend the 2023 conference?

We have you covered! Last year's recordings are available for purchase!

Introducing Our 2024 Keynote Presenters

Michael Trout, MA

Michael Trout, MA

Justin Tutt

Justin Tutt

Pre-Conference Workshop

Additional Learning Opportunity Wednesday, March 6th from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Creating a Trauma-Informed, Relationship-Focused School


Josh Carlson, LCSW - Executive Director of The Knowledge Center at Chaddock

Cory Powell, MS - Director of Education for Chaddock Schools

Katelyn Kegaly, MSW, MEDL - Assistant Principal at Chaddock School (Quincy Campus)

Kirsty Ruggles, MS - Lead Training Manager at The Knowledge Center at Chaddock

Workshop Description

Within this workshop attendees will explore how to develop trauma-informed, relationship-focused approaches at the District, School and Classroom level. We will discuss the impact of trauma and disrupted attachment relationships on learning and how to implement trauma-informed and relationship-focused strategies and IEP accommodations. Challenges will be addressed and attendees will leave with the foundations of an action plan to assist them on their journey to becoming trauma-informed and relationship-focused within the educational environment.

Virtual Option Available

Virtual Option Available

2024 Conference Schedule

Day 1 - Official Conference Kickoff Wednesday, March 6th from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Registration, Self-Care Booths & Social Hour

6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.

Documentary Screening - 'Chasing Childhood'

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

download the free 2024 conference guide

Your go-to guide for all of the conference details! You'll find full bios for every presenter, the schedule of exciting events and information about how to make the most of your stay in our hometown. 

Day Two - A Full Day of Learning Thursday, March 7th from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Keynote Speakers

I'm That Kid Justin Tutt a.k.a. "The Man in the Black Chucks"

Take a walk down memory lane reflecting on the decisions, impact and results of peer pressure on at-risk students. Every child faces a moment in life that determines their future self. Every child is one experience away from being a success story. Together let's ensure our children are not the ones falling for the pressure trap by empowering them to be themselves and to not risk their self values in order to fit in with others.

The True Masters in the Classroom: Teachers as Containers, Observer-Scientists and Discoverers of Meaning Michael Trout, MA

At a time when educators are under intense pressure from both the government and their own administrations—not to mention the pressure they feel from parents to take over duties that were once the purview of the home—some may find themselves grasping for measurable-outcome strategies. In the process, some may be inclined to relinquish authority over what they once knew was most important—indeed, over what brought them to teaching in the first place—in favor of any new program or “method” that comes along, as long as it promises to restore order to the classroom and make parents and supervisors happy. This session will teach no strategies but will only highlight what teachers already know: the central importance of relatedness, their own brilliance as observer-scientists, and their capacity to slowly discover meaning in the behavior of their children.  

Breakout Speakers

Combating Compassion Fatigue & Burnout Dr. Adam Dell, Psy.D., HSPP, ABPP

Getting Started with Community Circles Brittany Roberts, BA

Closer Connections to Build Classroom Communities Lindsey Acton, M.Ed.

Truly Trauma-Informed? Assessment & Design of Actionable Systems and Practices on the Journey to Becoming Trauma-Informed Doris Bowman, M.S. Ed./Spec Ed & Rick Bowman, M.A.

Brain Architecture Game and Discussion Mallory Wassman, MSW & Sarah Kuperus, S.S.P.

The Educator Listened Ovella "Ms. Peaches" Lott

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: The Importance of Engaging Families in Their Child's Education Kris Jenkins, M.A. Ed.

Beyond De-escalation: A Guide to Understanding Student Behavior Ryan Reinecke, M.Ed., Ed.S.

Building Positive Relationships with The Nurtured Heart Approach® Dorothy Derapelian, M.Ed., LCMHC

Pain, Power, and Activating Our Purpose: Critical Care Pedagogy Through Writing-as-Healing Briana Morales, M.Ed.

Continuing Education Information

The cost for CE's is $49 (this includes CE hours for both the Pre-conference Workshop and the Conference). 

Pre-Conference Workshop 5.5 CE Credit Hours Available for Counselors & Illinois Educators

Participants need to sign on to the training at or before the start time, attend the entire training, and sign off at the end of the training attendance will be verified by pulling an attendance report from Zoom for those who attend virtually. Partial credit is not allowed.

2024 TIRF Conference Up to 5 CE Credit Hours Available for Counselors & Illinois Educators

Participants need to sign in to each session at or before the start time, attend the entire keynote and breakout sessions, sign off at the end of keynote and breakout sessions, and complete the course evaluation for each to earn CE credit. Partial credit is not allowed. Certificates of completion will be emailed within 10 days of course completion.

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